One of the greatest gifts any of us has ever been given resides within our skulls. Throughout history, the brain has been very mysterious and poorly understood. We've known that the brain is very important, but the direct connection brain health has on our everyday happiness hasn't been very clear.
Dr. Daniel Amen has been doing ground breaking work, tying together the latest neurological research with the challenges we all face in living our best possible lives. His work is a game changer. From him, we can learn that when we say we have problems with ADD, addiction, depression, our marriage, or even our weight, there's really something going on inside our brains.
Vibrantly You: Improving Your Brain Health Improves Your Life
As a nurse, I know how critical diagnosing the true cause of any health concern is. What's even more exciting is using that knowledge to create healing and better health. That's why I'm very excited about Dr. Amen's Brain Fit Life program.
We have the power to...
Well, this morning, the FDA has come out and announced that - even though it seems inconceivable that such a thing could be true! - foods rich in trans-fats, which constitute a good portion of the most awesome food groups - fast and fried - might not, in fact, be good for you. Eliminating these foods from our collective food supply is said to be a lifesaving move, one that will have a positive impact on the rates of heart disease and hypertension we're seeing across the nation.
But I have to say, there may be a problem with this plan. Those trans-fat loaded foods are many people's favorite comfort foods. When we're down, when we're having a rough day, it's not inconceivable that there's comfort to be found in the familiar flavors of a cheeseburger and fries. If that's no longer an option, what can you do to lift your spirits instead?
Laughter is an ideal alternative: it's completely calorie (and trans-fat!) free. Sure, it won't help to laugh when you're hungry. You'll still want to...
Every day, Amanda goes for a walk near her San Diego home. The thirty-two year old has Type 2 diabetes, and regular exercise helps her keep healthy. "I can't say I go anywhere in particular," she said. "I just head for the beach and start walking." Along the way, she listens to audiobooks. "Only funny stuff," Amanda's quick to point out. "Right now, I'm listening to David Sedaris' latest book. Walking makes me feel good, laughing makes me feel good, so I figured why not combine the two?"
Amanda may be on to something. Humor has a vital role to play in helping people with diabetes live happier, healthier lives. Laughing regularly improves the mood and has been found to contribute toward a more positive mindset. There are also very real, very physical benefits to laughter. Enjoying humor lowers the blood pressure, improves circulation, and can even help minimizing post-meal blood sugar spikes.
Laughing regularly is an easy, fun, free way to improve your health. But sometimes those...
First of all - I love your work. Over the years, your appearances have amazed me. You've made my heart ache, you've made me think, and most of all, you've made me laugh. In the wake of your announcement that you have been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, it's the laughter I want to talk to you about.
As a talented comic actor, you know how humor can be used to accomplish many things. Laughter brings people together, creating bonds between people who might otherwise have nothing in common. Humor can make communication easier, by lowering the barriers raised by class or socio-economic status: we are all the same when we laugh.
Humor is powerful. Ridicule can topple the powerful, comfort the down trodden, and cause the comfortable and complacent to reconsider everything they thought they knew about the world.
You knew this, of course. But did you know that humor can actually make managing your diabetes easier? It's true. For many years now - just about as long as you've...
Women are the world's best multi-taskers. We have to be. Look at our schedules. If we took the typical woman's day - especially if she's a member of the Sandwich Generation, caring for her children and her parents - and calculated how long it would take to complete every item on the to-do list, one item at a time, the total would be something close to 647 hours!
There's no way to cram 647 hours worth of activity into a 24 hour day. But boy, do we try. So we multi-task.
No matter what we're doing, we're also doing something else.
While we're driving the kids to school, we're also putting together a grocery list and phoning in the prescription refills we'll have to pick up at the end of the day. And coordinating who's getting picked up after soccer practice and who needs a ride to clarinet class.
While we're in the office, we're doing our jobs - and also some freelance HR, smoothing over a conflict between two cranky colleagues who have to work together; fielding a call from the...
Some of my favorite people in the world are oncology nurses. If you ever want to meet a group of smart, skilled, and passionate health care providers, look to the oncology nurses. They’re there day in and day out on the front lines, providing exceptional care and essential emotional support, to people with cancer. And if you ever want to meet a group of nurses who know the value of a well-timed laugh – oncology nurses can help you with that as well.
Faced with the stark and bleak side of health care, oncology nurses have a finely tuned appreciation for the silly and bizarre. To this day, I remember the reaction of the oncology nurse who was treating my college-aged son David when he introduced one of his best buds as Tonto.
“If he’s Tonto,” the nurse asked Adam, “then who are you?”
With a great big grin, my son rubbed his balding head and announced, “I’m his Chemo-sabi!”
Sometimes those laughs come exactly when you need...
That's where you'll find me -Karyn Buxman, RN, neurohumorist, and author of What's So Funny About... Heart Disease?: A Creative Approach to Coping with Your Condition- sharing the latest research on humor and healing for the person who has heart disease.
Did you know that laughing for half an hour a day can reduce your bad cholesterol by up to 66%? When you have heart disease, cholesterol control is job number one. Enjoying humor doesn't replace conventional treatment or prescription medications - but it's a fun, free and effective way to make successfully managing your heart disease easier.
Listen to the January Jones interview here! If you like what you hear, don't forget to tell your friends about it on Facebook and Twitter. Sharing laughter is one way we can improve everybody's heart health!
We'd been called in for an emergency bowel obstruction. Our scrub nurse had some bad gas - don't ever trust the cafeteria's tacos! In the middle of the procedure, the surgeon starts freaking out. "I nicked the bowel! Don't you smell that?" He ran the bowel over and over before he was finally satisfied that it was intact, and he closed. Afterward, when I talked to the scrub nurse about it, she said, "What was I going to do - tell him I farted?!"
OR Nurses: this bookis for you! I count the years I spent as an OR nurse as some of the finest (and funniest!) of my career. Talk about the tight bond between nurses! I learned true caring, compassion, and grace-under-pressure from my colleagues behind those double doors.
There were also lots of laughs - and thank goodness for that. Laughter provides the emotional resiliency we need to operate at the top of our game in the high-stress, high-pressure OR environment. Nurses who laugh regularly enjoy considerable physical and mental...
Humor is perhaps a sense of intellectual perspective: an awareness that some things are really important, others not; and that the two kinds are most oddly jumbled in everyday affairs. Christopher Morley
Whether you're dealing with a chronic health condition like diabetes or heart disease, are a caregiver for someone with those conditions, or are just trying to make it through life with less stress and more fun, humor helps. At times when we feel stressed out or overwhelmed (an exceptional set of circumstances I like to call a Typical Friday Afternoon!) it can be difficult to maintain a realistic set of proportion about what's going on in our lives. All of our problems and challenges become enlarged: all of a sudden, the fact that you've lost your phone charger is as catastrophic an event as you've ever experienced.
Rationally, you know that's not true. Losing a phone charger probably doesn't even rate on your personal list of the 101 Most Terrible Things That Have Happened....
I was on my way to speak to a group of diabetes educators at a regional hospital when I overheard two interns talking in the hallway. They were watching an elderly gentleman, who was moving slowly down the all, and trying to figure out exactly what the man's complaint might be.
“I’ll be you $5 he’s had a hemorrhoidectomy," one intern said.
The other intern did not agree. “No way. He’s suffering from arthritis.”
They both approached the man to inquire.
“Why are you moving so slowly, Sir?” asked one intern.
The old man replied, “My slippers are too large.”
Diabetes and the Family Caregiver
Being a caregiver - whether you're a health care professional or a family member or friend - can be challenging sometimes. We like to think we know what's going on. After all, we work hard about being a good caregiver. This is especially true for people who care for someone who has diabetes. Over the years, I've spoken with...